Respiratory distress syndrome in moderately late and late preterm infants and risk of cerebral palsy: a population-based cohort study Sandra Kruchov Thygesen,1 Morten Olsen,1 John R Østergaard,2 Henrik Toft Sørensen1,3
To cite: Thygesen SK, Olsen M, Østergaard JR, et al. Respiratory distress syndrome in moderately late and late preterm infants and risk of cerebral palsy: a population-based cohort study. BMJ Open 2016;6: e011643. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2016-011643 ▸ Prepublication history and additional material is available. To view please visit the journal (http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1136/bmjopen-2016011643).
Received 23 February 2016 Revised 9 September 2016 Accepted 14 September 2016
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark 2 Department of Paediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark 3 Departments of Health Research and Policy (Epidemiology), Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA Correspondence to Dr Sandra Kruchov Thygesen; [email protected]
ABSTRACT Objectives: Infant respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS) is a known risk factor for intracerebral haemorrhage/intraventricular haemorrhage (ICH/IVH) and periventricular leucomalacia. These lesions are known to increase the risk of cerebral palsy (CP). Thus, we wanted to examine the long-term risk of CP following IRDS in moderately late and late preterm infants. Design: Population-based cohort study. Setting: All hospitals in Denmark. Participants: We used nationwide medical registries to identify a cohort of all moderately and late preterm infants (defined as birth during 32–36 full gestational weeks) born in Denmark in 1997–2007 with and without hospital diagnosed IRDS. Main outcomes measures: We followed study participants from birth until first diagnosis of CP, emigration, death or end of follow-up in 2014. We computed the cumulative incidence of CP before age 8 years and used Cox’s regression analysis to compute HRs of IRDS, comparing children with IRDS to those without IRDS. HRs were adjusted for multiple covariates. Results: We identified 39 420 moderately late and late preterm infants, of whom 2255 (5.7%) had IRDS. The cumulative incidence of CP was 1.9% in infants with IRDS and 0.5% in the comparison cohort. The adjusted HR of CP was 2.0 (95% CI 1.4 to 2.9). The adjusted HR of CP was 12 (95% CI 4.5 to 34) in children with IRDS accompanied by a diagnosis of ICH/IVH. After restriction to children without diagnoses of perinatal breathing disorders other than IRDS, congenital heart disease and viral or bacterial infections occurring within 4 days of birth, the overall adjusted HR was 2.1 (95% CI 1.4 to 3.1). Conclusions: The risk of CP was increased in moderately late and late preterm infants with IRDS compared with infants without IRDS born during the same gestational weeks.
INTRODUCTION Increasing preterm birth rates over the last few decades have kept the overall incidence
Strengths and limitations of this study ▪ A strength of this study includes the nationwide cohort study design with virtually complete follow-up, minimising the risk of selection bias. ▪ To our knowledge, this is the first study to specifically determine the association between infant respiratory distress syndrome and cerebral palsy using multivariate analysis, and as such, the validity of the estimates presented is unknown. ▪ Even though this study is one of the largest examining a potential association between infant respiratory distress syndrome and cerebral palsy, it still does not clarify the specific causes leading to increased risk of cerebral palsy.
of infant respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS) high.1–3 IRDS decreases with increasing gestational age and has a prevalence of about 30% after 32 weeks of gestation.4–6 The condition is caused by lack of surfactant in the lungs, which leads to atelectasis, decreased gas exchange and hypoxia. Potential complications of IRDS include intracerebral haemorrhage/intraventricular haemorrhage (ICH/IVH) and periventricular leucomalacia (PVL).7 8 Studies have reported increased risk of neurodevelopmental impairments, such as neurocognitive and school performance outcomes as well as attention-deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preterm children with subsequent hypoxic conditions, including IRDS.9 10 Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of severe disabilities in early childhood.11 The core symptom of CP is disorder of movement and/or posture, but is often accompanied by other neurodevelopmental disorders or sensory problems, such as disturbances of sensation, cognition, communication, perception, behaviour and/or seizure disorders.12 The disorder has a multifactorial
Thygesen SK, et al. BMJ Open 2016;6:e011643. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011643
Open Access and poorly understood aetiology. The most important risk factor for CP is preterm birth, observed in about 28–35% of all children with CP.13 14 Major lesions that contribute to CP include ICH/IVH and PVL.7 15 16 Few data exist on the long-term prognosis following IRDS. A few case–control studies have reported indications of an association between IRDS and CP.17–19 However, these studies are limited by small sample sizes and lack of absolute risk estimates. In the present study, we therefore examined the association between IRDS and CP in a nationwide follow-up study of children born moderately and late preterm. METHODS Setting and data linkage We conducted this cohort study using population-based medical databases covering the entire country of Denmark. Linkage between databases was possible through the Civil Registration System (CRS), which has kept electronic records of birth date, date of emigration and date of death since 1968.20 At birth or on immigration, all Danish residents are assigned a unique Civil Personal Registration (CPR) number that is used in all public Danish registries. The Danish National Health Service provides free tax-supported healthcare to the country’s 5.6 million citizens. Study cohort Our cohort was identiﬁed using the Danish Medical Birth Registry, which contains information on all births in Denmark since 1973. We identiﬁed all infants born alive in Denmark from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2007 (∼710 000 infants)21 22 and then restricted our cohort to moderately late and late preterm infants (deﬁned as birth between 32 and 36 full weeks). Adequate representation of children with and without IRDS is available during these gestational weeks. Infant respiratory distress syndrome We identiﬁed all children diagnosed with IRDS (exposed children) in the Danish National Patient Registry (DNPR). The DNPR contains data on all nonpsychiatric hospital admissions in the country since 1977 and on outpatient clinic and emergency room visits since 1995.23 24 Data include dates of admission and discharge, surgical procedure(s) performed, and one primary diagnosis and up to 19 secondary diagnoses coded by the discharging physician according to the International Classiﬁcation of Diseases, Eighth Edition (ICD-8) until the end of 1993 and the Tenth Edition (ICD-10) thereafter. Cerebral palsy Children diagnosed with CP were identiﬁed from the Danish National Cerebral Palsy Registry (DNCPR). Prerequisites for inclusion in this registry are a prenatal or perinatal aetiology (events occurring within 28 days of birth). 2
All children included in the registry had their diagnosis externally validated by a child neurologist at the age of 4–5 years, based on review of clinical ﬁndings recorded in the medical ﬁles. While the registry includes data on prenatally and perinatally acquired cases of CP since 1950, it became nationwide only in 1995. DNCPR is assumed to cover >85% of the children with CP in Denmark.25 Registry data include subtype and degree of CP,11 predeﬁned ranges of developmental quotient (DQ: 85), motor handicap measured by the Gross Motor Function Classiﬁcation System (GMFCS, 0–4) (though only complete until birth year 2003), accompanying neurological diseases and orthopaedic surgeries. Results of ultrasound and CT scans of the brain and evaluation of timing of brain damage are available.25 The DQ were mostly based on a clinical evaluation by a neuropaediatrician, because the results of the psychological assessments were rarely available in the medical ﬁles. The GMFCS is a tool used to measure gross motor skills in children with CP. The classiﬁcation system ranges from level 1 (walking with no support) up to level 5 (immobile/impaired in all areas of motor function).26 We obtained the following study outcomes from the registry: overall diagnosis of CP, selected subtypes of CP (unilateral and bilateral spastic CP), motor handicap degree (GMFCS levels 1–2, 3 and 4–5) and DQ (85). Covariates We obtained information from the Danish Medical Birth Registry for the entire cohort on gestational age at birth, 5 min Apgar score, chorioamnionitis, intrauterine growth restriction, abruptio placenta, multiplicity, maternal age and self-reported maternal smoking during pregnancy.22 Of note, information on administration of antenatal corticosteroids was not available. In the early years, weeks of gestation was based on the ﬁrst day of the last menstrual period. Later, prenatal ultrasound measurements were also included as a valid measure for the gestational age. However, in the Danish Medical Birth Registry, it is not possible to distinguish between the methods of measurement used to determine gestational age.21 We used data from the DNPR to ascertain the distribution of complications in children with and without IRDS, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, ICH/IVH, necrotising enterocolitis and patent ductus arteriosus (see online supplementary appendix A). Congenital malformations are associated with increased risk of CP and also may be associated with IRDS. We therefore ascertained from the DNPR all diagnoses of congenital malformations detected during the ﬁrst year of life. A subgroup of children may have had other conditions within 4 days of birth whose symptoms potentially overlapped with IRDS and may potentially lead to misdiagnosis of IRDS. These diseases include perinatal breathing disorders other than IRDS, congenital heart diseases, and viral and bacterial infections. We
Thygesen SK, et al. BMJ Open 2016;6:e011643. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011643
Open Access identiﬁed these conditions from the DNPR (see online supplementary appendix A). Statistical analysis We followed all children in the study cohort from date of birth until the date of the ﬁrst diagnosis of CP, emigration, death or 31 December 2014, whichever came ﬁrst. We computed the cumulative incidence of CP before 8 years of age with death as a competing risk.27 In a subanalysis, the commonest subtypes of CP were analysed as separate outcomes (unilateral and bilateral spastic CP), as well as motor handicap degree (GMFCS 1–2, 3 and 4–5) (only valid until birth year 2003) and developmental quotient (85). We used Cox proportional hazard regression to estimate unadjusted and adjusted HRs for CP among children with IRDS compared with children without IRDS. The analyses were adjusted for gestational age (32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 weeks of gestation), birth year (1997–1999, 2000–2002, 2003–2005 and 2006–2007), gender, multiplicity (singleton/twins), major malformations and maternal age (